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Jean Ruth Matheson was born on November 24, 1905 at the St. Barnabas Anglican Mission on the Onion Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan to Rev. John Richardson Matheson and Dr. Elizabeth Matheson (née Scott). Known as Ruth, she was the seventh of nine children. Matheson received her secondary and post-secondary education in Winnipeg, Manitoba, graduating from the University of Manitoba in 1928.
Matheson began her career as a teacher first in Manitoba and later in Saskatchewan. After marrying Geoffrey J. Buck in 1933, she moved to Regina with her family in 1946. In 1953, Ruth Buck was elected to the Regina Collegiate Board, serving as chair when the Board amalgamated with the Public School Board in 1966. She was elected to Regina's first Board of Education, and served on that board until her retirement in 1967.
After her retirement, Ruth Buck began writing articles and books, centred primarily around the history of Saskatchewan and the Prairies. The 1970s were her most prolific years, during which she published the book "Voices of the Plains Cree" (1973), the stories of Chief Thunderchild which had been collected by the Reverend Edward Ahenakew and edited by Buck; and "The Doctor Rode Sidesaddle" (1974), the biography of her mother Dr. Elizabeth Matheson, one of the first female doctors in Canada.
In 1974, an elementary school in Regina was dedicated to Ruth M. Buck in honour of her years of service on the Board of Education, and for her lifelong commitment to education.
Ruth Matheson and Geoffrey Buck had one daughter, Judith.
Ruth M. Buck died on July 6, 2009 in Pilot Butte, Saskatchewan.